The regional Train the Facilitator workshop in Budapest, Hungary was the first training of BRIDGE facilitators in Central and Eastern Europe and therefore, it is of utmost importance in terms of introducing BRIDGE as a capacity building tool in the region. Implemented by the Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO) it was the second milestone of the 10 months program supported by IFES and UNDP.
The TtF participants represented a diversity of countries and sub-regions of Europe and there was one participant from Afghanistan. All 21 participants completed the course successfully and were certified as semi-accredited BRIDGE facilitators.
In addition to practicing facilitation skills and getting to know BRIDGE content, implementation planning of BRIDGE was carried out during the TtF. All participants came up with impressive plans of embedding BRIDGE in their countries and proposed lists of potential courses for their EMBs and/or other electoral stakeholders. A plenary brainstorming indentified regional needs as well and regional proposals were drafted in order to create a sustainable development for regional BRDIGE processes. Now that so much investment has been done in people, it is very important, that BRIDGE continues in the region in order to have substantial institutional impact.
The facilitators' team of the TtF included Ross Attrill (AEC), Arpine Galfayan (independent) and Anna Solyom (ACEEEO).
Some examples of participants' feedback:
"TTF was very well organized, it really met my expectations and I hardly wait to start implementing it in the field."
"Just what has been happening during these 2 weeks: we all improved and changed to better so much, and facilitators motivated us on the way to this."
"This was the most productive course for me."
"I've learned a lot from other people's presentation and performance."
"Every aspect of the training would be useful for me in my future work, study and facilitating."